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Bob Hawkes

Two Years Plus Of APP Domain Name Sales

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By Bob Hawkes, Sep 10, 2020
  1. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    The .app domain extension was released for general availability by Google on May 8, 2018, after a short sunrise period with higher registration costs. Now in circulation just over two years, I thought this an opportune time to look at aftermarket sales and health of the extension.

    Aftermarket Sales

    According to NameBio data, there have been 106 aftermarket .app sales accounting for a volume of about $617,000, and an average price of about $5800. The sale of shop.app for $200,000 has a significant impact on the average price, however.

    Only 10 of the sales were at prices of $10,000 or more, and only 26 were at prices at or above $5000. I show the distribution of .app sales prices below. Keep in mind that this is a mix of wholesale acquisitions and retail sales data, with it likely that many of the sales less than $500 are wholesale.

    PricesAPP.png

    The rate of .app sales is increasing. Even when no account is taken of the fact we are only about 2/3 of the way through the year, 2020 is already the best year for .app both in terms of number of sales and dollar volume.

    APPbyYEARcomb.png

    When compared with all NameBio-listed new extension sales over the past year, .app represents 7.1% of the number of sales, but 19.9% of the dollar volume.

    If interested in asking prices, here is a list of .app domain names listed with buy-it-now prices and sorted by price. 47 .app domain names have asking prices of $1 million or more, with the top at $49 million.


    Top 10 Sales

    Here are the top 10 .app aftermarket sales in the NameBio database.
    1. shop.app $200,000 2020
    2. ZB.app $91,000 2019
    3. support.app $30,000 2019
    4. reality.app $24,000 2020
    5. me.app $24,000 2020
    6. dispatch.app $15,000 2018
    7. host.app $13,981 2018
    8. less.app $12,000 2019
    9. kind.app $10,000 2019
    10. Dubai.app $10,000 2019
    While only one of the names on the top 10 list is for sale again, another four names are not operational. Among those in operation, shop.app is used by Shopify for a shopping app, while ZB.app is a cryptocurrency app. The domain me.app is a contacts application, although currently redirects to the site MeApp.info. Less.app is a multilingual site for upper-end second hand fashion, while kind.app is a healthcare app.

    This list is based on NameBio data, and many venues do not report sales. There have been claims of other six-figure sales and at least one seven-figure sale, but I have restricted my analysis to NameBio-verified sales data. One can find additional verified sales through searches in GoDaddy domain appraisal - for example the name nomad.app sold for more than $25,000. The name is in use for a travel publication.


    APP Sales By Domain Length

    Most sales in the .app extension are 6 characters or less. The full distribution of NameBio-listed .appsales is shown below.

    LengthAPP.png

    The vast majority of sales are single words, short acronyms or abbreviations. The sectors represented are broadly distributed. You can view the entire list of NameBio reported .app sales at this link to make your own decisions about what typically sells.


    Registration Data

    The .app extension found quick traction, growing to about 250,000 registrations by June 1, 2018. That has now expanded to about 750,000 registrations at time of writing. It is currently the tenth or eleventh most registered new domain extension depending on how expiring names are handled. Among all extensions, it is the 42nd most registered extension,

    Many had speculated that after the first year there would be a massive drop in registrations due to lack of renewals. For the most part, that has not happened, as the following registration data from nTLDStats indicates.

    registration.png
    Above registration data is provided courtesy of nTLDStats.com.

    Although the wholesale cost is $12 for a standard .appregistration, with registrars charging higher retail prices to cover their costs, many of the most desired names carry premium registration and renewal prices. There has never been, to my knowledge, significant discounting in the .app extension.

    According to Dofo data, about 62% of the registrations in the extension are at GoDaddy, with Google at 9.5%, NameCheap at 6.1% and West at 3.1% the next most popular registrars. Together China and USA represent over half of all registrations in the extension.


    Sell-Through Rate

    One can combine NameBio sales data with Dofo domains for sale data, to compute an apparent sell-through rate. If I do that for the past year, the .app apparent sell-through rate (baed on all sales over $100) is 0.14%. That is substantially smaller than the similarly calculated sell-through rate for .com which is 0.59%. However, the average price of an .app sold is substantially above that of a .com, so it might be argued that the overall profitability is not much different.

    You can readily calculate a sell-through rate for a different price cutoff, to better separate retail and wholesale. However, the smaller numbers become not very statistically significant. Also, the majority of retail sales are not reported in NameBio.


    Actual Use

    According to Dofo data, about 521,000 .app domain names have an operating website, about 74% of all domains registered in the extension. However, certain types of landers are considered an operating website in their analysis. Nevertheless, there is significant use of the extension in operating websites.

    NameStat data indicates just over 1200 .app sites in the Alexa 1M, or a ratio of one site per about 580 registrations, a reasonably strong ratio. The rate of sites in the Alexa 1M has grown by about 100 in the last month. The highest ranked site is only in about position 3000 however, sleeper.app associated with online games under the same name. Other highly ranked operating .app sites include cash.app and shop.app.

    I suspect that many .app sites are either startups or existing sites that use an .app site along with their .com website. There are some examples where businesses have moved from a .com to an .app however, such as the Canadian medical administration service Jane.app.

    Additional examples of operating .app sites are given on the success stories section of the Google Registry site.

    While fraught with bias due to repeat listings, a simple measure of operating website use is obtained using the Google site:.app command. Here is what I found for .app along with a few comparators.
    • .app 53 million
    • .site 171 million
    • .online 69 million
    • .io 231 million
    • .gg 18 million
    • .vc 5 million
    Since Google search results are based on geography, browsing history and other factors, your results may vary from the above. Also, keep in mind that certain sites will have multiple listings, so these are not the number of operating sites. Nevertheless, it may be true that .app has a similar number of sites to .online, a factor of 4 or 5 less than .io, and several times more than .gg.


    Potential Market

    While the .app extension is finding some other use, the majority are used for promotion and customer support for apps. Since most apps are available on both Google Play and the iOS App Store, a website can provide links to both.

    According to Statista data, currently there are 2.56 million apps on Google Play, and about 1.85 million apps on the Apple iOS App Store. Amazon App Store accounts for another 490 thousand apps. While other types of apps exist, and other uses for .app domains, this probably provides an indication of the maximum number of .app domains that might find end use.

    An interesting question: Is there a market for a brandable .app marketplace? Those creating a new app would go to the marketplace to get ideas for possible names with available domains in the extension.


    Secure With Little Abuse

    One of the features promoted by Google is that any website on an .app domain must have a https certificate to be operational. Google explained it this way in their release announcement.
    The .page and .dev extensions released by Google after .app have a similar https requirement.

    A security certificate by itself does not prevent phishing, spam or other abuse however. I checked Spamhaus for abuse information on the.app extension. Just 0.2% of active .app sites have been associated with spam, resulting in an abuse score of 0.01, far better than any of the legacy extensions and most new extensions and many country codes.


    Final Thoughts

    I welcome reader comments on potential for .app domains as investments. Feel free to share success you have had in the extension, the type of names that you feel sell, or one .app name from your portfolio. Please do not post your entire holdings in the extension, however. I would also be interested in thoughts on what venues have best potential for selling .app extension names.

    Acknowledgement is made for the various sources of data and information used for this report, including Dofo, NameBio, nTLDStats, NameStat, DomainNameStats, Spamhaus and Google registry.

    No association with any operating sites mentioned in this article is claimed, nor is mention an endorsement of any site.
    .
     
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
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  4. Bob Hawkes

    About The Author — Bob Hawkes

    Domain analyst, writer and informal educator, with particular interests in domain name phrases and non-business uses for domain names. I am a risk averse domain investor who only invests modest amounts in a variety of extensions and niches. Don't hesitate to contact me - I like to help!

    This is Bob Hawkes's 56th blog post on NamePros. View all blog posts

    Home Page:
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  5. Comments (23)

  6. Paltzar

    Paltzar Hardware.company Blue Account

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  7. PapaTama

    PapaTama Established Member

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  8. Tewksbury

    Tewksbury Established Member

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    Great post Bob! Thank you for taking an objective look at .app.

    Here are a few reasons why I'm bullish on the .app extension:
    • .app TLD is backed and managed by Google, the same company that dominates in mobile, search, geo/maps, web browser, online advertising, AI/ML, etc.
    • The .app TLD is one of only a few gTLDs -that I'm aware of- that force HTTP Strict Transport Security, and are also included in the HSTS Preload list of all major web browsers.
    • People understand and use apps everyday.
    • Most native mobile apps are no longer financially justifiable, having been disrupted by web services delivered via progressive web app or PWA.
    • Progressive web apps combined with .app domain names are uniquely positioned in terms of search martketing advantage.
    • Low-code / no-code app development for PWAs is inevitable.
    https://www.lawtechnologytoday.org/2018/10/app-domain-names-and-progressive-web-apps/
     
  9. Wings

    Wings Established Member

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    Great post Bob. Thanks for sharing!
     
  10. rawapesona

    rawapesona Established Member

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  11. zomainhacks

    zomainhacks Established Member

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    Many thanks, I was trying to dig into the .apps, and your analysis is just incredibly clear and detailed. :xf.smile:
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2020
  12. The Durfer

    The Durfer Top Contributor VIP Blue Account

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  13. Mytz.com

    Mytz.com MYYM.com VIP Gold Account

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  14. charrisg

    charrisg Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Thanks for sharing Bob
     
  15. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    Thanks for the additional points and link to your article,@Tewksbury
    In particular, glad you mentioned progressive web apps, which obviously are of growing importance and will continue to grow strongly. The .app extension should not be considered only for apps in the mobile device app stores.

    An important point I should perhaps have included in the article. I think this does give .app an advantage over many new extensions.

    Thanks again,

    Bob
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2020
  16. Pay.My.id

    Pay.My.id Top Contributor VIP

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    Thank for sharing Bob, you always give important threads to keep the NP members stay on valuable data.
     
  17. WatchDogue

    WatchDogue Top Contributor VIP

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    This is quite an informative topic for me as I have never directly dealt with or researched .app domain names.

    Some nice sales to date for the ext. and given the number of apps in use likely the sales curve will rise in due time.

    Appreciate the insight into .app!

    Thanks Bob!
     
  18. jamesall

    jamesall BrandEntrance.com VIP Gold Account

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    Another enlightening read, graphics appreciated.
     
  19. jim h

    jim h Upgraded Member Gold Account

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    Great article, Sir ,thanks for sharing!

    So far, I've got map.app , cap.app , ol.app , of.app , ap.app , model.app , etc. I think .app have great potential. There are many powerful buyers communicating with me continuously. I think it works in the next few years.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2020
  20. Bipul

    Bipul Established Member

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    Great post, Thanks for sharing.
     
  21. immmi

    immmi Established Member

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    People often compare .app and .mobi. But a simple factor is easy to be overlooked. Mobi (le) does not necessarily know its meaning in non-English countries or for people who do not speak English well. Nowadays, “app” is used almost all over the world. Like my mother ( 60s, she only knows Chinese), she hardly knows an English word, but she knows what an app is
     
  22. newdawndomains

    newdawndomains New Member

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    Incredible analysis. Thanks for taking the time to present all of this information.
     
  23. passini

    passini Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Thank you for another great informative article.

    By the way just yesterday I downloaded a new app in my android phone, not a small obscure one since I saw that has already 5 millions downloads only on Google.

    I noticed they use the domain [AppName]app.com, and for curiosity I checked [AppName].app and is available for reg at 13 dollars. They didn't bother to reg it even as a redirect. Maybe this says a little or maybe not? I am not an expert of gtlds and this may be an isolate case so I would like to hear what the .app investors think.

    PS. No I didn't registered the name...
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2020 at 12:56 PM
  24. newdawndomains

    newdawndomains New Member

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    That's interesting. I would be curious how many apps with 1M+ downloads have a .app domain and for those that do, what the price history is, if it's available, to figure out what the likely price range would be as an average that you could then price the .app domain at and then reach out to those app companies and offer to sell the domain to them for that price.
     
  25. henrypcyeung

    henrypcyeung Established Member

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    Try to visit Shop(.app) and Shop/App(.com).

    Also, you can try to visit the use cases of .app (https://get.app/#success-stories) and find out how many of them do not use [AppName]app.com.
     
  26. passini

    passini Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    If they want the domain they will come. Not in this case I think since is available for registration...

    I had one particular domain that I got on the drop that was the name of a company that is selling luxury vintage cars, they cost a lot... They were using the hyphenated version. I didn't contacted them and I waited 3 years but when they wanted the name they came and for sure I got much more money than if I was contacting them offering it...
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2020 at 1:12 PM
  27. passini

    passini Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I just write about this app because I downloaded yesterday and to my eyes looked strange that they don't even bother to reg a 13 usd name as a redirect. I am not saying anything against the
    .app extension, as I stated I am not an expert or investor. The thing is also more strange as the main company uses a .ai domain, so they are not old school .com lovers. Just this...

    By the way I visited the link you posted and I clicked one of the links, just one! But it is a redirect to the [AppName]app.com website, lol...

    But again I am not saying this because I think only the .com is good, I have many names in other extensions, I just asked a question to learn more...
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2020 at 1:20 PM
  28. jim h

    jim h Upgraded Member Gold Account

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    I think with the advent of the mobile network era, many apps will choose to buy high-quality. App domain names.For a lot of successful apps, it's almost a matter of time.If it wasn't for the epidemic, we would see a lot of high value deals this year.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2020 at 12:30 AM
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